Friday, October 30, 2009

Snapshots of life

" Every now and then, once in a while, life gives us a miracle "

I've been searching for this quote on google for an hour now. I have no idea where I've read this quote or if it's formulated inexplicably in my head.

There are so many times that I go through this extremely colorful photo album in my head. Snapshots from my life. Like these tiny polaroid photographs. Only they imprint themselves in the fabric of your consciousness. On those rare occassions when my thoughts enter some forgotten dimension in my brain(in a dream or otherwise), it never fails to elicit a smile.

I don't know how, but somehow, the best part of those thoughts appear.

Hence, this series that I call Snapshots of life - my personal miracles . Just some yesterdays, some beautiful yesterdays...

And I start of with this small picture and a million memories.

Quad damage.

Familiar faces. Some unfamiliar ones.
Guitar feedback. Drum rolls.
"Vocals on the monitor please. Add some reverb please."
A strong smell of alcohol. Cigarette smoke.
A tiny whiff of Mary Jane.
The finger. Victory Signs.
And then the riff starts, and I lose myself in the music....

October 2007. I was in my final year of engineering(Finally) and going through a hard time mentally after some losses on the family front and some other issues.

A friend from college who I'd played with for some college fests called out of the blue, to meet with his band. It turned out they needed a vocalist and they were ready to give a female rock vox (which in those days in Pune was not such a common occurrence) a try.

One lead, one rhythm, one drummer, and me.

I remember the first meet over coffee that day. One moment we were getting introduced, and the next thing I knew we'd spend two and a half hours speaking of musical influences and bands like we'd known each other forever.

Then the first practice. Two guitarists and me. And the lights were out on that October day. But we sat in the garage in the dark and sang Pearl Jam's "Alive" to acoustic guitar and watched Angela Gossow from Arch enemy on the tiny laptop screen for inspiration.

We spent hours and days jamming. Making music. In the garage( where this picture was taken) and then once the renovations were over, up in our guitarist's room.

Now when I look back I just remember those extended practices. Led Zeppelin one day and Megadeth on another and Incubus some other time.

We did do a couple of gigs. Two and a half to be precise :) They were all fun. Being on stage is a totally unique experience in itself. The gigs were neither too earth shatteringly amazing nor absolutely unwatchable. But they were a fabulous experience.

The band was great while it lasted - two and a half months. We broke up in the beginning of the following year primarily because of creative differences(lol...ego would be a simpler way to put it).

Each time I go to a show, I remember the "being in the band feeling". The heady enthusiasm. It is truly a lovely picture.
I miss Quad damage.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reliving the First Job feeling

One year.
It's that familiar chill in the air. The beginning of winter and the festive backlog. The last flicker of the diwali lights , remnants of the sweets and dry fruits; and the fervent wait for Christmas and New Year's eve. It was at exactly this time last year that I got into my first job.

eClerx Services ltd. Catering to so many of the Fortune 500. Listed in the BSE. blah blah....

I had just given GRE knowing full well that I would not go to the US( thanks to the recession). One phone call, a few rounds of interview and before I knew it, I had landed my first job - I was employed.

I had no idea what the company did or what it would eventually give me. Just that I had got in.
The weather somehow just takes me back to that time. To the world of opportunity that I saw then, the apprehension and yet the excitement. That first job feeling.

It'll be a year tomorrow i.e. October 27th. I am no longer with eClerx( I left about a month back). Learnt so much. Met so many people. So many amazing, inspiring experiences both in my personal and professional life. Made so many friends. The process of rediscovering Me.
I don't suppose I could summarize my experiences in an 11 chapter book ( for each of the 11 months). So I won't try. :)

I miss those old times, the familiar faces, the warmth.I miss all that.
But life has to move on. Greener pastures, opportunities et al.
Yet, today, sitting here in my clinical cubicle I go back to those days, the smiles, the fears; and hope to raise a toast to all the amazing people I met at eClerx.


P.S: An essentially insane coincidence - The new Cafeteria vendor is the same vendor who served food in eClerx when I left. Just when I have been thinking of the place so much! Celestine prophecy, Secret anyone? :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I don't quite understand what chemicals are being secreted in my brain right now. Even in this post lunch drowsiness, new thoughts and rhymes formulate themselves somewhere in the head. It's surely some kind of poison...

These things in life
You know they burn.
But fascination overrides instinct
And you move forth with it
Kill yourself bit by bit
And I have traversed these roads before
Explored that alien shore
Witnessed a thousand drown in its manipulative ways
Another hundred fall in the bylanes
The sheer indulgence
The absolute brilliance
And yet I follow course
Follow that light without a source
Evolve in the lies
Blend in the make-believe
Hope to recieve
Nothing but true poison
That sweet poison
Travel to the fourth dimension
To taste, to feel
that poison..

[ Truly i don't know what the Poison actually is. For me it's something immensely attractive but unbeatable. No poison is poison if you can resist it, defeat it.....]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I am the only being - Emily Bronte

I am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born

In secret pleasure —secret tears
This changeful life has slipped away
As friendless after eighteen years
As lone as on my natal day

There have been times I cannot hide
There have been times when this was drear
When my sad soul forgot its pride
And longed for one to love me here

But those were in the early glow
Of feelings since subdued by care
And they have died so long ago
I hardly now believe they were

First melted off the hope of youth
Then Fancy's rainbow fast withdrew
And then experience told me truth
In mortal bosoms never grew

'Twas grief enough to think mankind
All hollow servile insincere
But worse to trust to my own mind
And find the same corruption there


Each time
Walk the same road
Make the same mistake
Deal with it precariously
For another's sake
Each time
Go through the same kind of pain
For the same mistake
Burn my hands in fiend fire
Putting sanity at stake
The same mistake
For all others' sake....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Diwali...

Diwali! The festival of lights!
Thanks to the Chinese invasion of the Indian markets there are gorgeous lights being sold at every street corner and the city lights up after like a fairytale after dark. Pretty. So are the varied fireworks( true I don't completely advocate them, given the sound and air pollution; but then you can't agree with everything in the world).

So overall a pretty picture.

Time for some good old fashioned nostalgia.
Let me go back in time to 1991 and Calcutta( It became Kolkata way after that). Kaali Pujo 1991. One hell of a

47 Ballygunge Gardens. What a palace it was in it's hey day. Always abuzz with activity, full of life. Elders, a
tad younger than most, the young lads and ladies, a tad older than most, and us kids. Where normal days were far from quiet, festivals of course brought in a lot more fun and frolic. Diwali was no exception.

It was my first Diwali/Kaali Pujo in Calcutta( I've only seen one other) and when it comes to festivities,
Calcuttans can simply awe you out of your senses. I remember marveling the light work and the atmosphere.
Way before the Laser era, the Pujo Pandals were spinning stories in light in the Calcutta Pujos. I don't quite remember each tiny detail, but I find the crowd and the lights still emerge clearly when I close my eyes and go back there.

And then diwali at home-The mishti, the people, the fireworks et all. What fun. People from 2 to 70, under
the dark, moonless sky, laughing, trading fireworks and sharing love.

I remember there were a lot of patake, phuljharis in every hand and rockets all over the sky; teasing and
shouting on the terrace next to my grandmom's puja ghar.

Then bhai phota the next day. Bhai phota(Bhai dooj/Bhau beej, in other parts of the country) is the celebration of the brother-sister relationship and what a celebration it was; truly sentimental and truly fun. Loads of fish and even more mithais( Maach and Mishti- the bong staple)

I tried to relive the same feeling in 1997 again. Oh, how excited I was, all of 13; and I was terribly disappointed. What I had not considered was and understand now, is that it was not the occassion, the vacation, the house or the city that made Diwali so special in '91. It was my family- all under the same roof.

Time steals. It stole life out of that house- literally and figuratively. The not so young youth grew older and got pulled into the web of family life. Some moved away physically, the rest mentally. The not so old elders, watched time scatter the younger ones; some of them withdrew into their impressions of the past, some into their failing bodies and some, like my darling grandmother decided to leave the world behind for good.
Us kids? Well we no longer are kids. I guess we lost our childhood way earlier than our previous generation.

This diwali I think of that old house and what it has seen. Maybe those lifeless bricks go back in time every now and then, maybe they hear the laugh and feel the warmth. Maybe the sky above is lit up with a thousand pretty fireworks and yet 47 Ballygunge gardens dreams of another day...

And I go back in time with it, to hear that familiar cackle and feel the love....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Imagination in a cube

Office cubicles!! Fascinationg little worlds. So now, a new office and a new cubicle. Excitement, anxiety, apprehension, loneliness.....

I have always had a strange liking for small, personal, semi-enclosed places. They are like personal hideaways. So the concept of cubicles have always kinda fascinated me. After the initial lonely bout(I was in a land without boundaries previously ;) ) I have started contemplating about how I can convert the space allotted to me into my personal space.

Looked up a lot of forums. Man! people have awesome ideas. A jail, a bar, a castle. Wow!!

So all inspired, I bought myself a few photo frames. But damn electronic media, I don't remember the last time I got a photograph printed. The 21st century has people holding their laptop and cell phone screens close to their heart instead of a measly printed photo.

We do not need imagination. We live in a Harry Potteresque world today. We have slideshows and videos, where once we held close to us simple old fashioned photographs in sepia and grey. Our minds are in permanent and growing recession and it's imagination that's out of work. Adolescents have no time to daydream, their playstations and ipods take precedence.

Sometimes( that's the frequency I would admit openly) I feel I am an anachronism - misplaced in time. I still cling to old, faded photographs, travel across this world and others in my dreams and prefer to write my rhymes on paper. I am not a technophobe( I have no idea if a word like that exists but I AM NOT Googling it. Would spoil the feel. *Wink*). I love my gadgets. But I love that little hippie in me that jumps for joy at the sound of travel and music and at letting imagination run wild.

So coming back to the cube, it is in progress. I managed to get a super colorful pen stand and I'm sure I will get some of the photographs printed as soon as I can win that old familiar battle with procrastination.

But for now, in this laid back festive atmosphere I would just take respite in a nice cup of black java and my old friend, Imagination.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Heaven indeed!!

Some scenes are so vivid and beautiful that they imprint themselves in your mind forever. This is one such.

Matheran is the tiniest hill station in the world and one of the few places that are absolutely vehicle free. Heavenly?? Well Yeah! It sure is...

Clicked this picture on the walk back and the sight instantly reminded me of the mythological TV shows[:)] that we have all seen some time in our lives- Gods and Goddesses floating about over the clouds...

That apart, a walk in the clouds and a glimpse of heaven - what more do you need out of a trip!

Green with envy!

There's something immensely fascinating about this snake that I saw on my recent trip to Matheran. We were all awestruck at the absolute perfection . But then again, nature never fails to amaze!